Disaster for Ferrari turned into victory for Red Bull Racing. Max Verstappen led the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix from the first lap all the way to the finish to secure his first-ever victory at the famed track.
Chaos reigned before the race even began when Ferrari discovered that polesitter Charles Leclerc’s gearbox was faulty, meaning the Monegasque driver would not start the race. It was a strange pole, anyway; the driver crashed after setting his fast lap, which prevented any other driver from usurping his fast time. That essentially promoted Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen to pole position; he retained his second-place grid position but had a clear path in front of him.
As a result, Verstappen managed to secure the lead—and the race proceeded in processional fashion from that point. A few drivers—Nikita Mazepin, Lando Norris—were given black-and-white flags for exceeding track limits (a truly stunning feat for a track lined with barriers), but no one was particularly punished for it.
Drama came for Valtteri Bottas during his pit stop on lap 31. The wheel nut of his right front tire got stuck, which meant his crew couldn’t swap tires. That was essentially Bottas’ race destroyed right there. The wheel nut machined the thread off the axle, which meant the wheel nut couldn’t be removed.
One of the few other moments of tension was the result of Lance Stroll failing to stay right after the pit exit, which saw him under investigation.
Verstappen took the checkered flag in first position, taking not only victory but also securing first place in the 2021 World Driver’s Championship.
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing)
- Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari)
- Lando Norris (McLaren)
- Sergio Perez (Red Bull Racing)
- Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
- Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
- Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
- Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)